AAAP Wagman Observatory Star Party, Saturday, October 8, 2016

Stellarium Screen Capture: Pittsburgh, October8, 2016, 8PM, SW.

Stellarium Screen Capture: Pittsburgh, October8, 2016, 8PM, SW.

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh invites the public to the  Wagman Observatory Star Party, Saturday, October 8 at 6:50 PM, EDT, Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory, Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh.  Wagman Observatory is located at 225 Kurn Road Tarentum, PA 15084 ~ 724-224-2510 ~ Latitude 40.627 degrees Longitude -79.813 degrees. This post will be updated after 4:30 PM today in regards to the evening sky conditions as they develop.

See large clusters of stars, beautiful colored double stars, visit the craters of the moon and view the planets Venus, Saturn, Mars, Uranus and Neptune. It’s all part of the show during October Star Party sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.

This is an opportunity for amateur astronomers, students and the general public to observe the wonders of both the summer and autumn skies including the First Quarter Moon, The Great Hercules Star Cluster, the Andromeda Galaxy and Double Cluster in Perseus in the telescopes at the Observatory. Did you get a new telescope recently and don’t know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help!

Looking to buy a telescope, accessories, star charts and books? Wagman Observatory is the place to start. We’ll have free handouts, guides and booklets to point visitors in the right direction.

The Star Parties will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call 724-224-2510 for more information. Read more

Upcoming AAAP Star Parties – September 10th & 24th at Wagman Observatory – September 23rd & 24th at Mingo Observatory

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh opens its observatories to the public on the following dates and locations: Wagman Observatory on September 10th & 24th (both Saturdays) and Mingo Observatory on September 23rd (Friday) & 24th (Saturday). No reservations. No charge. No limit to group size. Just show up. Our star parties feature a rich array of celestial delights. Experience the AAAP telescopes and those of our members as they reveal our solar system and more distant objects, including galaxies and nebula.

More information: Mingo Star Parties Guide
http://wp.3ap.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mingo-Star-Party-Schedule-2016.pdf

More information: Wagman Star Parties Guide
http://wp.3ap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Wagman_Sched_2016.pdf

Although admission is free, we gladly accept donations at the observatory entrance desks to cover the cost of operation. There is no smoking or alcohol permitted on our observatory grounds. Please drive slowly and carefully and be aware of pedestrians, especially children. Children must be under direct parental supervision at all times.

Our helpful and informed all volunteer staff will be happy to assist you to gain in knowledge and appreciation of the night sky. Read more

Greater Pittsburgh Viewing of 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower, Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, Six Events at Two Venues

 A perseid meteor streaks across a star-encrusted and cloud-scattered sky. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake
A Perseid Meteor streaks across a star-encrusted and cloud-scattered sky. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake

The Greater Pittsburgh Area  public is invited to view the 2016 Perseid Meteors with the  Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh at six viewing events including the designated Perseid Viewing Party at AAAP’s Mingo Observatory, August 11 into the morning of August 12, 2016, AAAP’s Wagman Obseratory August 11-12 Perseid Meteor Viewing and the regular August Star Parties at Mingo Observatory and at Wagman Observatory, Friday and Saturday evenings, August 12 and 13, 2016.

The regular Friday and Saturday star parties will be regular hours, generally beginning at dusk. Wagman’s Thursday Perseid Meteor Event (See more below.) does not begin until after 12 Midnight and ends before 5 AM, and will only occur under clear skies. The Thursday Mingo event begins at 9 PM and carries on long past Midnight in order to avail that night’s anticipated outburst of Perseid meteors, which may be as high as 200 meteors per hour. To catch this rare opportunity  no equipment or  experience is needed, as meteors are best observed with the unaided eye. With peak occuring in daylight the morning of August 12, best viewing is projected to be between moonset and prior to the first light of dawn Friday morning, August 12. Read more

Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party at Mingo Observatory

Free Public Event – Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Invites you to a Special Star Party at Mingo Creek Park Observatory Located in Mingo Creek Park, Mansion Hill Extension, past Shelter 10 in Washington County, PA. Phone #: 724-348-6150

Date: Thursday, August 11
WEATHER PERMITTING

Come and observe the annual Perseid Meteor Shower at the Mingo Creek Park Observatory located in Mingo Creek Park (map , directions ) up the hill past Shelter 10. This is a special Star Party concentrating on the Perseid Meteor Shower. No experience is needed to enjoy observing the meteor shower. Weather permitting the observatory will also be staffed during this time. Predictions are that the best viewing will be after midnight into the early hours of the morning on Friday, August 12. For your comfort you should plan your visit using the following guidelines:

The best way to observe the meteors is to lie down and look toward the northeast. Bring a chair and/or a blanket. The nights can get cool so plan on bringing layers to add as the night progresses. Bring snacks and something to drink that will help keep away the chill. You may want to bring some bug spray.

NOTE: Mingo Creek Park Observatory and its grounds, as a part of Mingo Creek County Park, are a no smoking and no alcohol permitted area. Read more

AAAP August 12 & 13 Star Parties at Wagman and Mingo Observatories

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh opens both the Mingo Observatory and the Wagman Observatory to the public on Friday, August 12th and Saturday, August 13th, 2016. No reservations. No charge. No limit to group size. Just show up. Our star parties feature a rich array of celestial delights. Experience the AAAP telescopes and those of our members as they reveal our solar system and more distant objects, including galaxies and nebula.

More information: Mingo Star Parties Guide
http://wp.3ap.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mingo-Star-Party-Schedule-2016.pdf

More information: Wagman Star Parties Guide
http://wp.3ap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Wagman_Sched_2016.pdf

Although admission is free, we gladly accept donations at the observatory entrance desks to cover the cost of operation. There is no smoking or alcohol permitted on our observatory grounds. Please drive slowly and carefully and be aware of pedestrians, especially children. Children must be under direct parental supervision at all times.

Our helpful and informed all volunteer staff will be happy to assist you to gain in knowledge and appreciation of the night sky. Mingo and Wagman Observatories are owned and operated by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, a 501(3)(c) and your donations are tax deductible. Read more

AAAP July 8 & 9 Star Parties at Wagman Observatory and Mingo Observatory

Pittsburgh Area Sky, 10 PM, July 9, 2016 Looking South

Pittsburgh Area Sky, 10 PM, July 9, 2016 Looking South.  Image Credit:Screen Capture Stellarium.org

Note: Both Wagman and Mingo Star Parties are on for Friday evening. If the weather would turn less favorable, perhaps call ahead if you have a long drive.  Saturday’s weather should be somewhat better than today’s.

AAAP Star Parties at both Wagman Observatory and Mingo Observatory, Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9, 2016 will feature a choice array of planets, bright stars and deep sky objects.  Planet Jupiter in the news this week as the JUNO spacecraft orbits the giant planet. Take a look at Jupiter and its moons through telescopes at AAAP July star parties. Facing South around 10 PM not long after darkness has fallen look left for bright star Altair in constellation Aquila, the Eagle.  Almost due South see close grouping of planet Saturn, just below to the right, with bright star Antares, the red heart of the Scorpion. To the right again, level with Saturn see planet Mars.  Then more to your right in the West, see the Moon a few days before First Quarter and then the bright planet Jupiter. In addition to these and many more unaided eye observations, through the AAAP observatory telescopes and members telescopes see close up views of the planets, stars and deep sky objects.  “See a region of space where stars are being born, catch a dazzling views of the ringed planet, visit the craters of the moon and marvel at our Milky Way Galaxy’s finest clusters and nebulae.” (as per T.R.)

The star parties which are weather permitting are free and open to the public.  Times are approximate: Mingo Observatory, safe solar observing, 6:30 PM; night sky observing, 9 PM. Wagman Observatory, 8:50 PM. Read more